In the case of Groff v. De Joy, Postmaster General
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision will have an impact regarding employee religious accommodations. A former U.S. postal worker sued the USPS for failing to accommodate his request for a religious accommodation allowing him to be off work on Sundays. At the time, the worker was scheduled to work occasional Sunday shifts for Amazon deliveries.
Title VII requires employers to make religious accommodations for employees, provided the accommodations can be achieved without undue hardship to the business. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, employers could deny a request for a religious accommodation that caused more than a minor burden on the employer.
However, the Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decision that employers can only deny an employee’s request for a religious accommodation if the employer could prove it would cause substantially increased costs for the business. In other words, a minor (de minimis) cost no longer establishes an undue hardship upon an employee.
Based upon the Supreme Court’s decision, all employers should review their religious accommodation guidelines.
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